Stewarding FAQs

All your questions about festival stewarding with Oxfam, answered.

General questions

Oxfam Festival stewarding is a fun and rewarding way to attend your favourite festivals, see some amazing acts and make new friends, all while supporting Oxfam's work to end extreme poverty around the world.

Stewards provide directions to the festival-going public, check wristbands, or patrol campsites and arenas.

You will be provided with training, a dedicated campsite ‘the Oxfield’ with access to showers and toilets, 24/7 hot water, and meal tickets.

You are supporting the festival with the smooth running of the event. In return for providing volunteers to a festival, Oxfam receives funds that help us in our work fighting against poverty.

Oxfam stewards work three eight-and-a-quarter-hour shifts typically ranging from morning, afternoon, and night.

Except for 2000trees and ArcTanGent which have only two shifts.

We have stewarding positions available at all of our partner festivals! You can see the full list of festivals here.

How do I apply?

Applications are currently open for 2024. Most of our stewarding places are currently full except for a small number of cancellations. If the festival/s you'd like to volunteer at is currently unavailable, please check back regularly as places do open up.

  • Click on the Account button on the website to create an account or log in.
  • Choose your role and top festival and proceed to pay the deposit. Your place is then confirmed.
  • If you'd like to attend more festivals, you can add them one by one. You will only need to pay more if these festivals have a higher deposit amount
  • Although your place is confirmed, we can only accept you onsite after you have completed each section of your profile and after you have attended a training session (if required).
  • Failure to complete your profile may mean that your place is cancelled and you will forfeit your deposit, so do not delay!

Please note, you will need a unique email address to sign up.

To sign up you will need to provide a one-off refundable deposit.

This is equal to the price of the highest festival ticket and is a bond to ensure that volunteers attend and complete their required responsibilities on-site.

One deposit carries you across all the festivals under or equal to that deposit price. If you know you want to sign up for more than one festival, we recommend that you choose the one with the highest deposit first.

Your deposit will be returned to you 4 weeks after your last festival with us, or 6 weeks for Glastonbury.

The return of your deposit relies on you having attended all your shifts satisfactorily. This includes being on time and returning your tabard when you have finished your last shift.

Your deposit will be paid directly back to the card you used to pay your deposit. If you change banks or credit card companies – please get in touch in plenty of time before your refund is due, so that we can make alternative arrangements to return your money.

If you have had to cancel your volunteering place early, your deposit will be paid back (minus any fees) within a week of canceling, or 4/6 weeks after your last festival if you have completed other festivals/have more to go.

Depending on your bank’s processes it can then take up to 10 working days from the refund being issued, to it showing in your account.

Yes! On your profile, you'll find an option to donate a portion or all of your deposit instead of receiving it back. Every contribution you make goes directly towards Oxfam's work around the world, empowering communities to overcome poverty.

By choosing to donate your deposit, you're directly impacting the lives of those most in need, providing them with access to essential resources, education, healthcare, and sustainable solutions.

Thank you for considering this option and for your continued support of Oxfam's mission.

We do hope that you will not need to cancel your place but if you do, please follow the guidelines below.

How to cancel

To cancel your place, please email festivals@oxfam.org.uk with the subject line ‘CANCEL’ along with the name of the festival(s) you are cancelling.

In the body of the email, please confirm your name, festival(s) to be cancelled, and if cancelling after the deadline – please let us know the reason.

We aim to respond within 2 working days, but there may be delays during busy periods. If you have not received confirmation of the cancellation within 5 working days, please call us on 0300 200 1266 or use our Live chat function (Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm).

Cancellation deadlines

You may cancel within the 'cooling-off' period which is 14 days at no charge.

Each festival has a 'cancellation deadline' which is 6 weeks before you are expected on site, or 8 weeks for Glastonbury. If you cancel a festival after its cancellation deadline, you may forfeit your deposit.

Cancellation fees

If you do need to cancel your place, the admin fees below will apply:

Cancelling any number of festivals within 14 days of signing up: No admin fee

Cancelling a place at a festival before the cancellation deadline is £25 per festival. (You will not be charged any more than £75 if cancelling more than three)

Cancelling after the 6-week deadline but having already successfully attended one or more festivals: Lose half of the deposit.

Cancel after the deadline with no valid reason: Lose all the deposit.

Cancel after the deadline with a valid reason and you can provide evidence: £25.

Providing evidence

If you can't make it to your festival due to illness or bereavement, please ensure that you call or email us to let us know as soon as possible.

We will ask for some documentary evidence such as a doctor’s note or order of service. We fully appreciate that your reason for cancelling may be of a sensitive nature and we hope you understand why we do have to ask for evidence. If we do not hear from you, you may be at risk of losing your deposit.

If you are unsure as to whether your situation is considered a valid reason, please refer to the volunteer agreement.

The quickest and most reliable way to get any evidence to us is to take a photo of the document(s) and email it to festivals@oxfam.org.uk.

Changes to your work schedule, holidays and if your friends are no longer able to make it, are not accepted as valid reasons to cancel, so please ensure that any time is booked off and confirmed before applying to avoid disappointment.

Unfortunately not.

As part of our commitment to anti-touting efforts, we cannot accommodate requests to change the name on a stewarding place.

It is essential that participants sign up with the genuine intention to volunteer.

If your circumstances change, and you are no longer able to volunteer, we kindly ask that you follow the cancellation process outlined above.

Completing your profile

It is a requirement from the festivals that we ask for specific information for safety reasons. You must complete all sections of your profile to be granted access onto the festival site.

This includes information such as obtaining a satisfactory reference, an emergency contact, travel information and ensuring that you have selected and have attended a training session.

Not completing this information before the six-week cancellation deadline for your first festival (8 for Glastonbury) could result in you forfeiting your deposit.

We recommend completing this step as soon as possible and making sure you have a green tick against each section of your profile. Please note, that it can take several days for the training section to receive its green tick after completion of your training session while we manually process our attendees register.

Please read the privacy policy for further information on data collection and consent.

We require a passport photo for your ID card. Please read these guidelines on providing an acceptable photograph.

The image needs to be in JPEG format with a maximum file size of 5MB. The photo must be in a portrait format. If your photo is deemed unacceptable, we will need to ask you to provide another one, so no selfies, please.

Please note some devices save photos in landscape even though they look correct in portrait when saved. Double-check by opening the photo first on your laptop or PC. If the photo is the wrong way around, rotate it and save again and it should then allow you to upload it to your application. If you are still having difficulty, we recommend using an online picture generator to help get it in the correct format.

Yes. We require all volunteers to provide a referee each year they apply. As when applying for a job, we would consider a college lecturer, employer, or someone who knows you in a formal capacity to be appropriate, please do not enter the name of a relative or someone who has known you for a short time. Your referee will be emailed, and they will need to confirm the following statements:

I have known this person for over six months.
I am not related to this person.
I can confirm they will be 18 by the time they are due to arrive onsite.
I know them through a professional capacity and have known them to be punctual and reliable.
I believe this person to be honest, responsible, and trustworthy in working with and looking-after others.

Training

All volunteers must have attended an Oxfam training session in the last four years in order to undertake stewarding at a festival with us. So if you last trained in 2020 or earlier, you will need to train with us again this year (2024).

If you do not need training this year, you should see a message and green tick against the 'Training' section of your profile.

These sessions are approximately two hours long and will take place online.

Festival organisers and several local licensing authorities require us to provide event stewards who are trained to a minimum standard.

Dates for these sessions are available on the festival sign-up form.

After you have booked a training session, you will be contacted around 5 days before your training session with specific details and the necessary link. If you have not received this information, please get in touch in plenty of time and we will resend these to you.

Spaces are limited so if you do not attend your chosen training session, an admin fee of £25 will be applicable, so please do notify us if you are unable to attend for any reason.

If you need to change your training session, please contact us as soon as possible via festivals@oxfam.org.uk with your chosen date and venue. Please note an admin charge of £25 will be applied if the change is within 24 hours of your current session or if you do not notify us of the cancellation.

Supervisors are Oxfam volunteers who look after the Oxfam stewards in a specific area. A supervisor’s role is to ensure the stewards are safe, happy, and fulfilling their roles. They also organise the steward’s breaks and shift changes and use the radio to report any incidents that arise. The area they cover may be a single busy location such as a gate or venue, or it could be a larger area like a campsite or arena. These roles are crucial to the effective running of our operation on site and the role is very rewarding.

If you are interested in supervising, you can tick the ‘interested in supervising’ box when you sign up. You will be asked to provide a little bit of information about your experience, which allows us to allocate roles appropriately.

Please note ticking the box does not guarantee you will be allocated a supervisory role, as we often have more people interested in supervising than we need.

To ensure you are fully equipped to supervise, we may run a separate training session for anyone who would like to be a supervisor. This is in addition to the general training which you will still need to attend and is not compulsory, but attendance will improve your chances of obtaining a supervisor role. If you select the supervisor box in your sign-up, we will be in contact to let you know if a training is taking place closer to the time.

Arrival and travel information

You can check the arrival dates for our festivals on our website. Please check here rather than the public dates on the festival’s own website!

When you apply, you will be asked to confirm to your availability for these dates, and we will remind you again by email a couple of weeks before the festival.

This email will also let you know the exact times on that day that our arrival and registration will be open.

At some festivals we have a small number of stewarding roles which start earlier than the usual volunteer arrival dates as shown on our website.

If you can arrive early and want to be considered for these roles, tick the ‘pre- festival shift’ box on your application.

Please note, we get a lot of Early Shift requests for very few roles, so ticking the box is no guarantee you’ll be allocated one!

We select who is on the early shift a few weeks before the festival, and you’ll find out if you’ve been selected when you receive your arrival information email.

This does mean that if you are allocated an early shift, you’ll need to be flexible with your travel arrangements.

Once you arrive you need to find somewhere to pitch your tent, and you need to register with us. Registration usually takes place in our campsite marquee, but instructions will be clearly shown when you arrive.

Our campsite is normally close to our car park, so no more long trips with heavy bags!

The registration location will be clearly marked and usually takes place in the Oxfam marquee.

This is when you will collect your shift times & location(s), tabard, meal tokens, site maps etc.

Onsite briefing times and locations will be confirmed at this time too.

You will need:

  • Accepted Photo ID: Photo card driving license or Provisional Photo driving license, Passport, expired Passport (providing the picture still looks like you!), Student ID card, SIA card, Proof of Age card (issued by the Police), NHS staff card, Emergency Services staff card, Civil Service ID, Military ID, European (government-issued) ID card, European photo card Driving License.

On-site briefing sessions ensure you have all the information you need about the festival and your role - they are not a training session. The briefing will cover important specific to that event, such as ticketing systems, lost child procedures and catering arrangements.

It is essential for all stewards to attend an onsite briefing prior to starting your shifts, even if you have stewarded with us before or attended a training session.

Details of your briefing time will be available when you arrive, at Registration.

If you have been allocated a supervisory or shift leading role, you may need to attend extra briefings.

Yes, you can!

There will be a Shift Swap whiteboard in the marquee. You put up what shift(s) you are offering, what you would like, your name and contact number. When you have someone to swap with you both need to bring your shift sheets to the Oxbox or Adbox (depending on the festival) so that the swap can be made official.

Do not swap shifts without confirming them with the Oxbox/Adbox.

It could cause problems with the return of your deposit if the person you swap with does not turn up for shift and it’s your name on the supervisor’s sign in sheet.

Please note, at Glastonbury all three shifts must be swapped.

If you are planning on volunteering with friends or family this summer, you will each need to apply separately.

When your profiles are open, you are then able to choose the person or people you would like to volunteer at the same time as by setting up a 'Friendship Group'.

You can find out more about how to set up or join a 'Friendship Group' here.

If you or your friend aren’t all successful at getting a place at the festival of your choice, places do come up throughout the year as people cancel so keep checking back.

You may leave as soon as you have completed your final shift, handed your tabard back in and signed out. You will receive your shifts when you register upon arrival at the festival. If you tick the box to say that you are available for the "late shift" or "Monday shift" you may be required up until 6pm on the Monday after the festival, however this does vary between festivals.